The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, held every Fourth of July atConey Island in Brooklyn, is like the World Cup of competitive eating. Last year, American Joey Chestnut not only claimed the championship title for the ninth time, but set a new record by finishing 70 hot dogs and buns in 10minutes. It’s become normal to expect competitors from around the world to eat such ungodly amounts of processed meat and their doughy rolls at rapid speed. But it wasn’t until a 23-year-old from Japan named Takeru Kobayashi entered the scene in 2001 and ate 50 hot dogs and buns that anyone believed this was possible. Before Kobayashi, the record was just 25 and 1/8 eaten in 12 minutes.